After a terrible 3-9 ATS record in Week 12, I rebounded nicely in Week 13, finishing the week 7-5-2 ATS and going 3-2-1 ATS with my recommended wagers. I’m not particularly in love with the board this week. I entered this week with a number of games that I was looking to bet heavily, but oddsmakers have done a good job adjusting the lines and ensuring that I lose all line value.
Anyways, without further ado, here are my Week 14 selections.
Ravens @ Redskins: Not to keep harping on the same point week after week, but the fact remains that the Baltimore Ravens remain a play-against team on the road. When playing away from M&T Bank Stadium Joe Flacco’s quarterback rating drops to 70.2, he completes only 55.3 percent of his passes, and he has thrown as many touchdowns as interceptions. This week he’ll be facing an improved Redskins defense that has limited opposing passers to 6.87 yards per attempt in their last four games and rank eighth in red-zone defense in the last three weeks. The Ravens will have to lean heavily on Ray Rice, but in this matchup he may actually get outplayed by his counterpart. Washington averages a league-best 167 yards per game on the ground. Alfred Morris may not be the fastest, or the strongest back in the league, but he showed on Monday that he has the patience to allow his blockers to create running lanes, and he isn’t the easiest guy to take down even when defenders do get to him. Baltimore’s defense remains a top unit in name only. Injuries have beaten this unit down and it looks like they’ll play without both Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs for the first time this season. Even with one of those guys in the lineup each game, Baltimore has allowed an average of 126 rushing yards per contest. All this talk and I haven’t even mentioned Robert Griffin III. The rookie phenom has racked up 23 touchdowns while turning the ball over just six times on the season. He’s been even more effective when his top target is in the lineup. The Redskins are 5-1 when Pierre Garçon suits up and 1-5 when he doesn’t. I’m happy to take Washington in the pick’em range. Redskins 27, Ravens 16
[UPDATE: No change here. I avoided making this a bigger play because I'm scared that I'm overreacting to the Redskins' performance on Monday night, but I think about how poor the Ravens have been on the road and I'm confident again.]
Chiefs @ Browns: Kansas City deserves a ton of credit for what they were able to do against Carolina in the wake of the terrible tragedy that occurred last Saturday morning. The team put together one of their best performances of the season, and Brady Quinn may have had the best game of his career. Quinn has been a bust after being selected as a first-round pick by the Browns, but last week against Carolina he completed 19 of 23 throws for two scores, and didn’t turn the ball over. Even more impressive was the leadership that the Notre Dame alum showed off the field. If the team can rally around Quinn, they may be able to play spoiler down the stretch. Quinn’s top passing option, Dwayne Bowe, will be shadowed by Joe Haden which minimizes the likelihood of a big day for Bowe, but the Chiefs can still rely on their top offensive weapon, running back Jamaal Charles. Charles has already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark on the season, and he should only get better as his offensive line gets healthier. The unit is getting healthy at the right time as Cleveland has done a good job of getting to opposing quarterbacks lately, sacking Tony Romo seven times in Week 11. Offensively, Cleveland relies heavily on their ground game to open up passing lanes off play-action, but the team ranks in the bottom-third in the league in rushing, and that’s a big reason why Brandon Weeden has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns this year. The Browns have been good against the number this year, but they’re usually installed as underdogs. The last 13 times the team has been installed as favorites, they’ve gone 4-9 ATS. I like the direction the Browns are heading, but I’m not quite ready to back them when they’re giving away a touchdown, even if the Chiefs are in an obvious flat spot. Browns 19, Chiefs 13
[UPDATE: A combination of public and sharp bettors have bet the Browns up to -7. I can't justify laying a touchdown with a team that scores an average of 19.1 points per game. There's a 60% chance of showers in Cleveland today and some strong wind which means that the Chiefs have a small edge because of their running game.]
Chargers @ Steelers: We’ve already seen San Diego struggle with weather in Cleveland in Week 8, and with an early start time in Tampa Bay in Week 10. Now they’ll have to travel to Pittsburgh to face the Steelers for an early start in bad weather on one of the league’s most notoriously poor fields. I wouldn’t love San Diego’s chances if this game were played in the evening in a dome stadium, so this pick isn’t a difficult one for me. Pittsburgh won’t have any issues with the game conditions – since 2000 they are 26-10 ATS at home in the month of December. Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown are back for Pittsburgh which is a boon for the team’s passing game, but I suspect they’ll continue to lean heavily on the run to ease Roethlisberger back. San Diego’s defense has struggled against opposing ground attacks lately, allowing each of their last three opponents to rush for at least 123 yards. While they’ve struggled to stop the run, the Chargers have also struggled to get their own ground game going, with the production of Ryan Mathews tailing off of late. Pittsburgh’s defense is ranked ninth against the run and they’ll only get better as Troy Polamalu’s role increases. In the last four seasons the Steelers are 29-9 when Polamalu plays and 11-11 when he doesn’t. A healthy Polamalu usually means more pressure on the quarterback and that means a ton of trouble for Philip Rivers. Rivers was sacked four times last week and has been sacked 14 times in the last three weeks. His offensive line hasn’t gotten any healthier in this last week so I don’t know how Rivers is going to stay upright. The Steelers have racked up seven sacks in their last two games. I think they get to Rivers early and often in this one. Steelers 28, Chargers 10
[UPDATE: The Chargers are really bad. If this wasn't Big Ben's first game back, I'd be all over the Steelers today, but I do think we'll see some rust.]
Titans @ Colts: Here is a strange stat that may lead you to question everything you know about the commonly accepted statistical measure of a quarterback’s efficiency known as the passer rating: Andrew Luck’s rating is 76.1, ranking him 29th among all qualifying NFL quarterbacks. The Colts are 30th in the NFL in turnover differential at minus-16, largely because of Luck’s giveaways, of which there have been 21 through 12 games. Luck did a magnificent job of leading the Colts comeback in Detroit last week, but he struggled before that, which is how the Lions were able to build up that margin in the first place. Luck has been better at home where he has thrown just three interceptions and nine touchdowns, but I don’t think Indy will just run away with this game. The Colts rank 31st against the run and that sounds awful good to Chris Johnson who has been coming on of late. Johnson ran for 99 yards on 21 carries when the teams met in Week 8, and the Colts have now allowed each of their last three opponents to rush for at least 115 yards. As for the pass, Jake Locker should find some extra time to work this week after facing off with Houston’s imposing pass rush last weekend. Indianapolis has registered just six sacks in the last four weeks. Locker has had an up-and-down first season as the starter in Tennessee, but Matt Hasselbeck had some success against this pass defense, completing 22 of 29 passes for 236 yards and a score, so I think Locker can as well. These teams needed overtime when they met in Week 8 and I expect this game to go right down to the wire as well. Only two of Indianapolis’ eight victories have been by more than six points. Colts 24, Titans 23
[UPDATE: There is a TON of sharp money coming in on the Titans this morning. Tennessee is now down to +4 in most spots so I feel really good about getting my wager in yesterday. The Colts are a fraud--Maybe this is the game where their freefall begins.]
Jets @ Jaguars: As I mentioned in last week’s write-up for the Bills and Jaguars, Chad Henne is no stranger to the AFC East. After some terrible years with the Dolphins, Henne has found himself in Jacksonville and is playing much better football. He has accounted for eight touchdowns in the last three weeks, and the Jaguars have scored an average of 26.3 points in those three games. He’ll be leaned on heavily as the team will be without their top three running backs and will start a converted fullback, Montell Owens, at the position this week. Ordinarily teams want to beat the Jets on the ground because they have a good pass defense, but they haven’t been the same without Darrelle Revis. Even with Revis in the lineup, Henne has had success against Rex Ryan’s Jets, throwing for six touchdowns and one interception in four games against them. The Jaguars will be without Cecil Shorts, but Justin Blackmon is still around, and Marcedes Lewis has re-found the skills that made him a reliable receiving option for the team a couple years ago. The Jets rank 29th in the league in sacks so Lewis won’t be called on to block much and can get out in pass patterns. Defensively the Jaguars have been much better since the return of Dwight Lowery, and it’s not like they’ll be facing off against Joe Namath. Mark Sanchez nearly lost his starting spot to former seventh round pick Greg McElroy this week. At times I almost feel bad for Sanchez because he takes all the blame for the team’s woes while throwing to a lousy receiving corps, but either way, he has no business being favored on the road. The way things have gone in New York this season I wouldn’t be surprised if Greg McElroy sees the field before this game ends. Fireman Ed will be hanging his head in shame. Jaguars 20, Jets 16
[UPDATE: I don't really have a strong opinion on this game. The Jags can't run the ball and the Jets can't throw the ball. Both teams are completely inept but I'd side with the Jags because Chad Henne seems more capable than Mark Sanchez right now.]
Bears @ Vikings: I’ve flip-flopped on this game a couple times this week, but in the end I’m going to go with the Bears. I had a hard time overlooking all the injuries that Chicago has suffered over the last few weeks, and losing someone like Brian Urlacher must be a devastating blow to the defense, but as long as Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall are active I think they can compete with any team in the league. The Bears also lost Tim Jennings last week, but that is offset by the much larger absence of Percy Harvin. Harvin did a little of everything for the Vikings, returning kicks in addition to being a dangerous rushing and receiving threat. Their offense has completely stalled without him and I don’t think Lovie Smith and the Chicago coaching staff are going to have to rack their brains too hard when deciding which Viking to focus on this week. Minnesota ranks fifth in the league in yards per play and ranks first in the league in yards per rushing play, and that’s all because of Adrian Peterson. Peterson rushed for 108 yards on 18 carries when these teams met last, but the Vikings managed to turn that production into only 10 points. Minnesota’s 6-5 record is impressive, but the team has covered the spread only four times in their last 20 games against winning teams. The Bears have covered six in a row against the Vikings and I think they make it seven in a row this weekend. Bears 24, Vikings 13
[UPDATE: The Vikings are in a revenge spot, but I don't believe in revenge spots. Do the Vikings want to win this game more than the Bears, who have lost three of their last four games? I don't think so. I'll stay away because I'm not a fan of laying road chalk, but I think we could see Chicago win in a blowout.]
Falcons @ Panthers: When looking at the last meeting between these teams don’t let the final score fool you. Were it not for a terrible collapse at the end of the game the Panthers had the Falcons beat. That wasn’t the only time this season that the Falcons have had things go their way as they must be one of the worst 11-1 teams in the history of the league. When I think of Mike Smith’s Falcons I think of a team that runs the ball very well, but that hasn’t been the case this season. The team’s run game has taken a big step back this year and it’s going to catch up with them eventually. The Falcons are coming off extra rest after playing on Thursday, but that may not play in their favor as they’re coming off an emotional victory against the Saints. While Atlanta has received several fortuitous bounces this season, the Panthers have had some pretty tough luck in a disappointing season. Year two of the Cam Newton era hasn’t brought with it the success that Panther fans would have liked, but the sophomore quarterback is starting to turn things around. The last time these teams met Newton accounted for three touchdowns, two through the air and one on the ground, while also rushing for 86 yards. That has been a weak point for an Atlanta defense that ranks 27th against the run, allowing 4.6 yards per carry. Jonathan Stewart will likely miss this game but I think DeAngelo Williams will be able to pick up some yards on the ground to offset his absence. As much of a disappointment as this year has been for Carolina they have stayed competitive, losing by more than six points only once, and I think they’ll be competitive here, pulling through in the end with a win in front of their home crowd. Panthers 23, Falcons 20
[UPDATE: The Panthers were the most selected team in the Las Vegas Hilton Supercontest this week. I can't argue with that. Carolina's lost only two games by more than six points this season and should have beaten Atlanta in their first meeting.]
Eagles @ Buccaneers: The Eagles will go on the road to play this game and will start rookies at quarterback and running back, but I’m still picking the Eagles to win this game outright. I tend to pick against Josh Freeman, but this pick is more about the Tampa defense. The Bucs will be without their top two cornerbacks for this game, and they won’t be able to cover that up with a strong pass rush as they have recorded the third fewest sacks in the NFL. Tampa ranks 31st against the pass this year and are allowing opponents to throw for 309 passing yards per game, which points to a good day for Nick Foles. Foles has improved his play week by week, pushing Dallas to the limit last Sunday night. Bryce Brown has shown flashes, but his fumbling issues combined with the fact that Tampa Bay has been solid at stopping the run, allowing the fewest yards per carry (3.4) in the league, likely means most of his production will come catching the ball. Although, he has averaged 8.1 yards per carry over the last two games, so maybe he will find some success in the trenches. For the Bucs, they live and die by what Doug Martin can do on the ground. So much of what they do in the passing game relies on play-action. Martin has averaged just 3.8 yards per carry since his breakout game in Oakland, and things likely won’t get much better against an Eagles team that ranks 11th in the league at stopping the run. Playing on their home field hasn’t been much of an advantage for the Bucs as they’ve covered in just nine of their last 32 home games. Add onto that a look-ahead situation for Tampa as they travel to New Orleans next week to play the Saints. I’ll take the underdog. Eagles 30, Buccaneers 28
[UPDATE: I'm not wavering here. There's always the possibility that I end up looking like an idiot with the Bucs blowing out the Eagles, but I think the wheels are slowly starting to come off in Tampa. I love this spot for Philadelphia.]
Rams @ Bills: I’m going against the Bills here because they have no business being favored against Jeff Fisher’s Rams. Buffalo’s defense has been better the last few weeks, and defenses that send only four pass rushers (which the Bills do a lot) have historically given Sam Bradford trouble, but I think they are going to have a ton of trouble with Steven Jackson. The Rams had Jackson splitting carries with Daryl Richardson earlier in the season, but since the trade deadline has passed Jackson is back to being the team’s workhorse. I expect offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer to put together a game plan that plays off Jackson’s strengths and will set up the play-action passing game. Danny Amendola is questionable for this game, but Chris Givens has filled in nicely in his absence and has established himself as one of the better big play threats in the league. Whether Amendola plays or not, the injury that will have the greatest impact on this game is the injury to Bills center Eric Wood. Wood is the glue that keeps the Bills line together and they’ve had tons of problems in both pass-protection and run-blocking when he’s missed time in the past. The Rams rank sixth in the league against the run, allowing 3.87 yards per carry, and a week after limiting Frank Gore to just 64 yards on 27 carries they will be hard to run on without Wood. Stevie Johnson has also been bothered by a hamstring injury this week, and at less than 100 percent he’ll have issues getting open against Cortland Finnegan. I’ll take the Rams to pull off the minor upset. Rams 17, Bills 14
[UPDATE: I have no feel on this game either. Early in the week, I loved the Rams +3 when I found out that the Bills' starting center would be out, but I've stepped off the gas pedal. If you look at Buffalo's schedule, they've beaten the teams that they're supposed to beat this season, and this game would qualify as another one. I'll lay off.]
Cowboys @ Bengals: The world is right again. Last week the Cowboys were installed as heavy favorites against the Eagles and I was forced to pick against them. Not this week. The underdog is 32-12 against the spread in Cowboy games over the last three seasons. Tony Romo is coming off of what was probably his best game of the season (after December 1st no less) in which he completed 82 percent of his passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. He’ll need to be at his best again against a Cincinnati team that is riding high right now. The Bengals have limited opponents to 221 passing yards per game. DeMarco Murray returned for the Cowboys last week and his role wasn’t as limited as the team reported it would be. Murray shied away from contact early on, but ran harder as the game progressed. Cincinnati allows opponents to average 4.5 yards per rush and Murray will need to play well to keep the heat off Romo. Cincinnati leads the league with 39 sacks, and Dallas’ offensive line hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire. As hot as Cincinnati’s been, their last three wins have come against the Chiefs, Raiders, and Chargers. That’s not enough to make me think that the Bengals are a better team than the Cowboys. Andy Dalton didn’t throw for more than 230 yards in any of the team’s last four wins, and I think Cincinnati will need to put up some points to beat Dallas. There is also a look-ahead factor for the Bengals, who play on Thursday Night Football next week. Favorites are 4-11 against the spread before a Thursday game this season. I’ll take the Cowboys and the points. Cowboys 26, Bengals 21
[UPDATE: With Cowboys' linebacker Jerry Brown dying in a car accident on Saturday morning, this becomes the most unbettable game on the board for me. I was considering adding Dallas +3 as a Sunday morning play, but I'll lay off. The Chiefs responded well to a death within their organization last week, but the Redskins got blown out four years ago when Sean Taylor was killed. No play.]
Dolphins @ 49ers: Under Jim Harbaugh the 49ers have absolutely dismantled their opponent the week after a loss. However, this is the first time that Colin Kaepernick will get the start at quarterback in such an instance. Kaepernick has regressed over the last couple weeks and has come to look pretty ordinary when he’s not running the ball. Part of the blame belongs to San Francisco’s offensive line which has allowed the seventh most sacks in the league. Miami’s defense has compiled 32 sacks, good for a share of eighth in the NFL in that category, so they should be able to get to Kaepernick on Sunday. The Miami defense has also been well above average at stopping the run and if they can contain Frank Gore, that could lead to some third and long situations for Kaepernick to try to convert. The 49ers rank 20th in the league in third down conversion rate, while Miami ranks seventh defensively at stopping third down conversion attempts. The 49ers rank near the top of the league in just about every defensive category. It will be important for the Dolphins to maintain manageable down and distances, so Ryan Tannehill will need to get the ball out of his hand quickly and maintain a high completion percentage to keep the chains, and the clock, moving. Coming off of last week’s overtime loss it’s understandable if the 49ers aren’t entirely focused on this game, as they’ll also have to deal with the distraction of next week’s big game against the Patriots. In Miami’s last 75 games the road team is 50-25 against the spread. Since 2007, the Dolphins are 15-3 against the spread in road games against teams with a winning record. 49ers 20, Dolphins 13
[UPDATE: I can't envision the Dolphins scoring more than two touchdowns, yet I'm still siding with them against San Francisco this week. The 49ers aren't playing good football right now and it's hard for me to lay >10 points with a team that isn't at their best.]
Saints @ Giants: It’s not often that I have anything negative to say about Drew Brees, but his eight interceptions the last two weeks have ended New Orleans’ playoff hopes. He threw for 24 touchdowns in the nine games prior to the team’s meeting with Atlanta, but those last two performances are real backbreakers. I expect Brees to bounce back and put up some decent numbers here, but the Saints would be wise to focus more on their running game. The team’s backfield is deep and has been effective since the team expanded the roles of Mark Ingram and Chris Ivory. Defensively there certainly aren’t many positives for the Saints. Eli Manning hasn’t been great since Halloween, but he should be able to find some success in this game, particularly with Roman Harper and Malcolm Jenkins struggling in pass coverage at the safety position. Michael Turner ran for 83 yards on 12 carries last week, so Ahmad Bradshaw should be able to do pretty well whatever he wants. The Saints rank dead last in the league against the run, allowing 5.1 yards per carry. To put that in perspective, Tampa Bay allows 3.4 yards per carry. The Giants will be happy to lean on the run, and that will open things up through the air for Eli, although he could probably have success against this Saints defense if he threw on every down anyway. I wouldn’t be surprised if David Wilson broke off a big run or two and ended up with a productive day as well. Both teams will get their points in this game, but I have more faith in the Giants defense to get stops when they need them. Giants 38, Saints 27
[UPDATE: I've spent the last hour considering adding the Giants -4.5 as a 3* play, but I'm going to lay off. When people start questioning the Giants, they perform admirably in their next game. It's been like that for three years now. Drew Brees' backdoor cover potential scares me.]
Cardinals @ Seahawks: There is a big asterisk that belongs alongside this game. The opening line saw the Seahawks installed as 10.5-point favorites. Then, Ken Whisenhunt announced that he was making a change at quarterback. Ryan Lindley is out, John Skelton is in. In most other cities this would be bad news, but for Cardinals fans this is cause for celebration. The biggest benefactor of this change is Larry Fitzgerald, who may see a ball thrown in his general vicinity this week. However, the affect this change had on the line was minimal. For those that don’t pay much attention to the Cardinals, John Skelton has quietly been an above-.500 starting quarterback, while Ryan Lindley has been a flaming pile of garbage. Skelton’s career record against the Seahawks is 3-0. All of those wins have been at home so this will be his first trip to CenturyLink Field as a starter, but his veteran presence is certainly an upgrade over what Lindley would have brought to the table. Skelton may not be called on to do too much as the normally stout Seattle run defense has allowed opposing rushers to average 6.0 yards per carry in their last four games. It’s no coincidence that this time frame coincides with an injury to K.J. Wright. Russell Wilson will oppose Skelton, and he’s been a stud at home. He hasn’t thrown an interception at CenturyLink Field yet, but Arizona’s pass defense is one of the best in the league and has already come up with 18 interceptions. If Calais Campbell is able to return for this game they should be able to generate a ton of pressure on the rookie signal-caller as well. When Wilson tries to run with the ball, he’ll get a first-hand look at Arizona linebacker Daryl Washington who is having a breakout year and should be assigned to spy on Wilson. Before this week, Seattle hadn’t been favored by more than 5.5 points all season. In fact, the team hadn’t been installed as a double-digit favorite since 2009. I’ll take Arizona and the points. Seahawks 19, Cardinals 14
[UPDATE: No change here. I still really like the Cardinals. John Skelton is bigger than a 0.5-point upgrade over Ryan Lindley and Seattle finds themselves in unfamiliar territory as a huge favorite at home.]
Lions @ Packers: It seems like every week Jim Schwartz’s team takes the field they find a new and creative way to lose. Last week’s loss was special as they did all they could to leave the door open for Andrew Luck to engineer a comeback. The loss hurt, but they’ll have to put it behind them as they get their division-rival the Green Bay Packers this week. Matthew Stafford had a bit of a stinker in the last meeting, completing just 17 of 39 passes and turning the ball over three times. He’s been better since then, largely because he’s been targeting the league’s best receiver more often. Stafford has thrown Calvin Johnson’s way 37 times the last two weeks and it’s resulted in 21 catches for 311 yards and two scores. Mikel Leshoure should also be able to have some success against a Green Bay defensive front that allowed Adrian Peterson to rush for 210 yards last week. The Lions have actually outgained the Packers in each of the last five meetings between these teams. It sounds like Green Bay will be without Jordy Nelson for this game, and with Greg Jennings playing at less than 100 percent that limits what Aaron Rodgers will be able to do through the air. The team will also be without James Starks, meaning they’ll rely on Alex Green to bring some balance to the offense. I wouldn’t be surprised if Lions defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham routinely sends seven or eight man blitzes to pressure Rodgers into some bad throws. The Lions would love nothing more than to play spoiler against the Packers. This game means a lot to them and I think this will be a fight right down to the final whistle. Packers 28, Lions 27 in a devastating, heartbreaking, come from behind victory
[UPDATE: No change here either. I think the Lions will be competitive in this game but I’m sure that Jim Schwartz will find another way to blow it. I may come back mid-day and add a play on the Lions, but only if I can find Detroit +7.
I won’t spend too much time here.
Assuming I have all teams remaining, here would be my top selections in order of confidence:
1. San Francisco vs. Miami
2. Pittsburgh vs. San Diego
3. Seattle vs. Arizona
4. Green Bay vs. Detroit
5. Tampa Bay vs. Philadelphia (even though I picked the Eagles to win outright)
AGAINST THE SPREADSHEET
Week in and week out, you will get a look at my spreadsheet which shows my confidence in each selection.
The ‘Strength of Pick’ column indicates how confident I am in my selection with 1 being the most confident and 16 being the least confident.
The ‘Initial Reaction’ column indicates my confidence when the game lines were first released.
The ‘Mid Week’ column indicates my confidence on Wednesday.
The ‘Final Selection’ column indicates my final picks against the spread.
It’s one thing to show you a table indicating who I like in each game, but it’s another thing to actually show you where I’m throwing my money down.
I rate my plays on a scale of 3* to 6* with a 6* play qualifying as my top play. I would estimate that 1 out of every 25 plays earns a 6* distinction, with approximately 50% of my plays earning a 3* distinction.
I’m going with five plays this week. I was very close to making my top play a 6* selection this week, but I need just a little more line value.
5* Tennessee Titans +6 (-105) – SIA
There’s incredible line value with Tennessee this week. They were a 3-point underdog in this game when the Las Vegas Hilton posted this line last week. SIA and BoDog are the only two sportsbook where you can get the Titans +6 right now, but the juice at SIA is lower so I made my wager there. If you can find a 6, bet it right away.
4* Arizona Cardinals +10 (-110) – Pinnacle or SIA
I’m a sucker for double-digit underdogs, and I’ll gladly back the Cardinals at +10. Most sportsbooks have Arizona +10 with 15 or 20-cent juice, so make your play at Pinnacle or SIA. I don’t see this number getting back up to 10.5 with Jeff Skelton getting the nod over Ryan Lindley, so I’d bet it as soon as possible.
4* Philadelphia Eagles +7.5 (-105) – BoDog
This is an intriguing game because you can find any number from 7 to 9 right now. I’m opting to go with the Eagles +7.5 at the lowest price that I could find instead of taking the Eagles +9 -130 at some other books. I can’t justify paying 25 extra cents to push the number up 1.5 points.
4* Carolina Panthers +3.5 (-105) – SIA
This would be a no-play for me if I could only get Carolina +3, but there’s still a bunch of 3.5s on the board right now. SIA has the lowest juice so I opted to make my wager there earlier this morning. If your sportsbook only lists a 3, I’d wait until game-time to make your wager.
3* Washington Redskins -1 (-129) – 5Dimes
You also have a number of options on how to bet this game. I chose to pay the extra juice and essentially get the Redskins as a pick’em instead of laying 10-15 cents and taking Washington -2.5. If you’re so inclined, you can actually go with Washington -3 +110 at BoDog if you’re interested in getting takeback on the Redskins.
That’s it for me this week. I will update my thoughts on each game on Sunday morning and I may possibly post another play if a line moves the way I’d like it to.
Good luck this week! Let me know your top selections.